The many genres of music – particularly, rock, pop, hip-hop and country – have always pushed the needle forward in fashion. Musical icons from today and yesteryear have given a voice to fashion by creating a kinetic experience full of imagery and a visceral aesthetic that retailers long to foster in their brick and mortar retail stores. Today, music’s grip and influence on fashion have become more and more evident with the boom of music festivals that have become Millenial’s and Gen Z’s version of Woodstock and Glastonbury. Music festivals, including SXSW, Panorama, Bonnaroo, and Coachella have become “see and be seen” fashion experiences. And, recently, retailers have taken notice and launched festival-inspired fashion capsules in an effort to ride the wave of music festivals. Major international retailers, such as ASOS, Nordstrom and Macy’s, have designed comprehensive campaigns appealing to music festival fans. By promoting these music festivals on social media and creating festival-worthy fashion lines, these retailers have inspired brand loyalty among a target market of Gen Z and Millenial consumers, and, more importantly, offered festival fashionistas a streamlined method of outfit shopping. In the coming years, competition among retailers courting music festival fans will only increase as the international love affair with music festivals further escalates.
Music festivals, which are a perennial draw for A-list celebrities and social-media influencers, celebrate street style as much as the music they are supposed to exhibit. In a strange twist, music festivals have become a social calendar event where what fashion-conscious onlookers are wearing is just as important as the artists performing. These content creators all have the ability to jumpstart a new trend that will become the next #Instafashion moment. Given the enormous popularity of music festivals – evidenced by each #hashtag and geotag – on social channels such as Snapchat, Instagram and Youtube, savvy retailers have capitalized by sponsoring these events and opening up pop-up stores on site. These retailers hope to capture the heart of the Millennial customer who will now associate the brand with an experience, hopefully engendering brand loyalty going forward. Nordstrom was one of the first retailers to open up pop-up shops at music festivals, which included a photo booth where customers were encouraged to upload the photos to social media and use its hashtag. Marketing campaigns that are seamlessly integrated into event experiences tend to resonate with consumers on a deeper level. By leveraging the social capital of music festivals, retailers such as Nordstrom have been able to cast a wider net in an effort to sell their products to future festival goers.
Music festivals are fast becoming the Super Bowl (Congrats! @Patriots) in the fashion calendar. And, considering the global reach of music festivals, retailers’ opportunities to increase sales and reach new consumers appear endless. For retailers that step up to the plate and create interactive experiences on the festival grounds or at a star studded sponsored private party, music festivals can be a home run marketing opportunity that engages both festival-goers and followers on social media.